Saturday, January 12, 2013
It is said that the primordial goddess Omet once descended to a lonely island where she bore a circle of five children. These children would then create and govern the lives of all humankind.
In the Beginning - if there indeed is such a thing as Beginning or End - there was Omet. She was black as the night sky, and without age. To her, the passing of a year was as the passing of day; indeed, her sight stretched beyond all space and time....
~ From the Book of the Twenty-Fourth Hour
Miyena ("mee-yeh-nah"), Protector of Human Flesh. This elder daughter of Omet is regarded all across Anseti as responsible for all things pertaining to human health, growth, and security. It is Miyena who protects the homeland from droughts, famines, plagues, and invaders. It is Miyena who protects the ill, the elderly, and pregnant women. In the Southern Queendoms, she's depicted as a warrior. Elsewhere, she's depicted as a nurturing mother. All herbalists defer to Miyena.
Diyen ("dee-yen"), Protector of Human Thought. This second daughter of Omet is the keeper of language, science, architecture, creativity, and exploration. Diyen protects humans from ignorance and stagnation; she drives away the poet's writer's block. It is Diyen who bars senility from poisoning an elder's mind. Her statue graces every university in Anseti; her bust sits in the studies of kings and queens. She is always depicted as a scholar, draped in demure robes.
Tayen ("tah-yen"), Protector of Human State. Widely regarded as "the politician's god", this third son of Omet is tasked with preserving law, order, and economic stability. It is Tayen who blesses commerce and allows societies to flourish. Many palaces, city gates, prison walls, court houses, and market banners bear his visage in some form or another. It is Tayen who prevents debt crises, market crashes, coup d'états, civil unrest, and assassinations from collapsing a society.
Onaya ("oh-nah-yah"), Protector of Human Conscience. This fourth son of Omet is tasked with recycling the souls of mortals who live flawed lives. By reincarnating them again and again, Onaya seeks to reveal the error of their ways. It is Onaya who bars the souls of murderers, rapists, thieves, and liars from poisoning the afterlife. His statue stands within many a prison, and all who sculpt him seek to capture his warm, benevolent countenance.
Umet ("oo-met"), Protector of Human Spirit. The fifth child of Omet is both her eldest and youngest; most notable is the fact Umet has no gender. Umet is simply "It", the Ideal, the Afterlife, the End (if there indeed is such a thing). Mortals who have lived good lives will die and become as formless and harmonious as Umet; they will be part of the stars and wind, the waters and clouds, the grass and the dawn. Umet declares all that exists has a purpose, a destiny, and all things are connected in flesh, mind, and spirit.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Lady of the Court introduces us to Selo, who is assigned to escort Princess Abeti ("ah-bet-tee") to the Kingdom of Oon Sati. Abeti is to marry the youngest son of King Miru, Prince Iyuru ("ee-yoo-roo"), in a "blood marriage," after her mother wins a weary battle against the Antwari.
Upon arrival at the southwestern city of Wala, Selo is sent to train with Inya, the court herbalist, in the arts of a Chief Attendant. Thus begins a friendship borne of unlikely circumstances, as Selo learns not only the troubling truth about mixed societies, but their royal houses as well.
Lady of the Court is now available from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
Characters of Interest
Queen Matawai: Her name comes from the phrase matemawai ("mah-teh-mah-why"), meaning "goat horn woman". Though not born of royal blood, this Antwari Queen came to power by various ways, and now leads the siege against the nation of Tiy.
Ammetwa ("ah-met-twa"): Her name comes from the phrase amateyamawai ("ahm-mah-teh-yah-mah-why") meaning "black fur woman." She is Matawai's favored assassin.
Umi ("oo-mee"): Umi is Inya's beloved donkey who accompanies her on almost every journey. In Anseti, it is traditional for people name their donkeys, horses, etc. with names ending in "-mi", meaning "friend". "Umi" thus means "old friend."
Places of Interest
Wala ("wah-lah"): A great city in southwestern Oon Sati. It is ruled by Prince Iyuru, and is to be the new home of Princess Abeti.
Okoyi ("o-ko-yee"): A valley in northern Tiy, where the River Ai flows. The site of many battles between the Tiy and the Antwari, Okoyi is often believed to be resting place for the souls of warriors.
Onoti ("o-no-tee"): The northernmost village in Tiy, and the first line of defense against northern invades. Onoti is surrounded by high walls and armed with archers. No army has made it past Onoti in over a century.
These are the Anseti ("ahn-set-tee") nations in slightly more detail.
The Three Queendoms
The Three Queendoms are Tiy ("teey"), Soneti ("soh-net-tee"), and Kamati ("kah-mah-tee"), and are often called the Southern Queendoms.
Tiy is ruled by Queen Ituti II ("ee-too-tee"); its capital is Emseti ("em-set-tee") and its chief exports are horses, linen, amber, and gold. Tiy is often touted as the oldest of the Queendoms.
Soneti is ruled by Queen Bathia V ("bah-tee-yah"); its capital is Emmethi ("em-met-tee") and and its chief exports are wine, goats, palm oil, and various metals.
Kamati has the longest coastline of the Queendoms. From the capital city of Okhai ("o-kai"), it's ruled by Queen Ankara I ("ankh-kah-rah") and its chief exports are fish, olive oil, glass, and the highly coveted black clay.
Antwari ("ahn-twa-ree") is a western nation based in the high, rocky Western Mountains. Ruled by Queen Matawai ("mah-tah-why"), the Antwari are a mixed society. Dubbed Aitawar ("eye-tah-wahr") or "the Goat People," they are a warrior society with no formal trading agreements, and have been known to raid and pillage other territories for resources. Matawai rules from the Royal Hall of Utuwa ("oo-too-wah").
Oon Sati ("oon-sah-tee") is a vast, wealthy mixed society ruled by King Miru ("mee-roo"). Its capital city is Uruma ("oo-roo-mah"), and its chief exports are silk, muslin, marble, blue clay, wine, silver, sheep, horses, wool, and sweet corn beer. Oon Sati has a diverse landscape, ranging from grasslands, to lake country, to its eastern coast.
Amalia ("ah-mah-lee-yah"), also known as the Northern Territories, is the northernmost region of Anseti. It is primarily desert country, with some fertile valleys, mountains, and oases. Bordered by the Sea of Maliyu ("mah-lee-yoo"), it has the longest coastline of all the nations.
Amalia is a complex region; it has no single ruler and instead has several domains, each one ruled by a king or queen. The Amalian inability to get along is infamous across Anseti, which is why outsiders typically prefer to remain outside except in matters of commerce. The Amalian Nations all trade and export similar things - dates, nuts, red clay, gold, acacia wood, bath salts, desert flower oil, silk, muslin, linen, and glass.
Whenever the Amalians go to war with one another - and they do rather often - every other country remains neutral and has for the last thousand years. However, whenever an outside force invades a single Amalian domain, its own sister nations will remain neutral and watch it fall.
The Northern Islands
The Northern Islands are actually known by many names; some are simply directly, such as the Northern Isles or the Far North. Some are more colorful, such as the Glacial Islands, Glacial Cliffs, or the Frozen Queendom. Located far across the Sea of Maliyu, the islands experience snowfall all year round. Legend has it the incessant snow is an ancient curse.
The Isles of Antiyu (originally Atiyu)
The islands of the Antiyu ("ahn-tee-yoo") Sea are semi-mountainous and rich in gold. It's governed by a group of sea merchants and has no single leader.
The Isle of Omet
Omet ("oh-met") is home to a great temple and the legendary Oracle of Omet. The royal houses of Anseti regularly pay tribute to the temple at Omet, where a different person is chosen to channel the oracle every year.
Rivers of Anseti
Thursday, January 10, 2013
What is Selo & Inya?
Selo & Inya is an intended series of novelettes written by author Ankhesen Mié. The artwork is designed by Jules Nguyễn and the series is published by Middle Child Press. The series's title comes from its two female protagonists "Selo" and "Inya".
Who are Selo and Inya?
Selo ("see-low") is a young warrior woman from the Queendom of Tiy ("teey"). An orphan who's spent her whole life in an all-female society, her story begins with her foray into the Kingdom of Oon Sati ("oon-sah-tee"), a society of both men and women.
Inya ("in-yah") is Selo's traveling companion. Inya is a nomad and herbalist who was born and raised in Oon Sati. She is Selo's guide through mixed society, as well as her personal physician.
Where and when does Selo & Inya takes place?
Selo and Inya reside in a fictional world during ancient times. Author Mié has spent several years drafting different continents and cultures in this world, and has finally decided to combine them into one planet. The novelettes will focus primarily on the continent of Anseti and its surrounding islands, as well as the distant, frosty islands of the far North.
Why do we have Selo & Inya?
Growing up as a teenager in the 1990s, author Mié watched many shows with influential female leads (The X-Files, Xena: Warrior Princess, Alias, Dark Angel, The Net, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.), but not many of these television shows focused on women of color. Since Mié cannot provide a television show, she offers regularly written novelettes instead meant to focus on the "Brown" girls, i.e. women of African, Asian, Polynesian, and Indigenous American descent.
The novelettes will focus on the strength, beauty, and character diversity of such women; readers can expect to meet queens, princesses, warriors, assassins, bounty hunters, tribal chiefs, oracles, priestesses, and more.
The novelettes are designed to be a short read, akin to watching a TV episode, and will be inexpensively priced, starting at $4.99.